Seeking students, staff, and faculty to lead Themed Wellness Walks

The Penn Libraries, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, the Netter Center’s Agatston Urban Nurtrition Initiative, and Walk with (Future Doc) have teamed up to coordinate campus Themed Wellness Walks to include discussion of topics related to the interdisciplinary interests of Penn students, staff, and faculty.  To inquire about leading a walk, please email

At the Penn Libraries, in Spring 2019, I hosted  Wellness Interest Group meetings, in which library staff came together once a month to explore and discuss personal and campus wellness issues and strategies. At one of our meetings, we discussed the Big (Wellness) Idea Challenge, in which Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Benoit Dube and others on the Challenge Committee were soliciting proposals for new initiatives that leverage university resources to support the wellness of students, staff, and faculty on campus.

While I was thinking about potential ideas, Elaine Weigelt, the Community Outreach Program Manager at the Center for Public Health Initiatives, reached out to me.  We had met last summer via “Walk With a Future Doc,” a medical student-led wellness walking group, in which medical students do a short presentation and answer questions about a health topic before leading the walk.  Elaine also organizes and leads the the monthly Penn HR Wellness Walks for faculty and staff.

We decided to fuse together the Penn HR Wellness Walks model and the “Walk With a Future Doc” model and expand the presentation topics to include health literacy, nutrition, and other public health topics. During this brainstorming phase, The Netter Center’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative  and Walk With a Future Doc also became proposal partners.

After the Big (Wellness) Idea Challenge panelists sifted through over 350 proposals, they picked 14 proposals to present lightning talks. One of those proposals was my team’s proposal.

After meeting with our team mentor, Dr. Nguyen from Student Health Services and staff from the Penn Medicine Center for Healthcare Innovation, we decided to expand beyond health topics by leveraging the beauty and history of Penn’s campus, and the world-class expertise of Penn students, staff, and faculty. The idea of Themed Wellness Walks” was born, which became one of the three ideas that won the challenge.

Recently, Campus Recreation has joined this initiative as a partner and will provide access to the Palestra, an indoor walking space during inclement weather.

I am excited to work on planning and participating Themed Wellness Walks this academic year. Currently, the team is soliciting students, staff, and faculty who are interested in presenting a short 5-minute informal talk and leading walks. If this seems like an appealing opportunity for you, please email

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